It is common knowledge that gang violence between gangs of predominantly South Asian young men has escalated sharply in recent months. There seems to be no end in sight as gang members brazenly attempt murder of their rivals on streets and homes across Surrey. While everyone blames the police for lax enforcement or letting things get out of control, few look at the role of families of gang members in making a bad situation worse.
Recently Kal Dosanjh, founder of Kids Play Café, and a B.C. outreach worker questioned why families members of people connected to the recent shootings in Surrey and Delta were not cooperating with police.
“By protecting your children, what exactly are you protecting them from?” he said.
“They continue to engage in these violent criminal acts which have a detrimental impact not only on the community, but essentially put everybody’s life and safety and welfare at risk.”
Dosanjh thinks many of the parents are overprotective and don’t want their kids being brought in by law enforcement.
“It takes a village to raise a child … but it also takes a village to protect this child,” said Dosanjh. “They essentially surround the child and prevent any type of mishap happening to the child when it comes to the judicial system.”
Kal Dosanjh is the founder of Kids Play Cafe, an organization that keeps kids busy playing sports instead of getting involved in crime. (Surrey.ca)While Dosanjh doesn’t expect things to change overnight, he says it is imperative that parents become more involved in their children’s lives.
Meanwhile former solicitor general and active member of the community Kash Heed takes a different approach. He believes there will be no end to the spate of shootings in Surrey because there isn’t a “comprehensive approach to dealing with it.”
He added: “The problem is the RCMP are just using traditional responses to this particular problem.”
He pointed out that even when these gangsters are killed, “the void is so easily filled because there is such a large amount of people that will get involved in this particular activity and unless you cut off that stream, you are not going to be able to realistically intervene in this problem; you are not even going to be able to put a lid on this particular problem.”
“They are resource poor in Surrey and they don’t want to admit it. So all they can do is react to the problem; they cannot be pro-active. So it’s always after the fact that they will respond to it.” He said.
He mocked Surrey RCMP and Surrey Mayor decrying the lack of cooperation from the victims, noting, “The suspects and victims have not been cooperating for hundreds of years in this. What do they not realize? For them to single out our (South Asian) community even makes me a lot more upset. We had this taking place and we continue to have it taking place with other members of other communities involved.”
The bottom line is there needs to be a more comprehensive approach to tackle this gang warfare which will require the active cooperation of the community. But this culture of silence is not helping the situation because valuable information that would help the police bust gangs and get these dangerous individuals off the streets isn’t being given leading to the situation that is rapidly getting out of control.